Part V: Continued from Part IV:
Five auto-rickshaw drivers are mysteriously killed on the road over a week. The passenger of the first auto-rickshaw, Maanvi Sharma, potentially provided a clue of a bike driver being the potential suspect. The investigating police sub-inspector D. K. Gowda had received a note from the supposed killer which explained the reason for the murders. The supposed killer wanted all the auto-rickshaw drivers to drive responsibly & strictly follow traffic rules. Recently, two cabs had a very bad accident on HAL Airport road – killing both the drivers on the spot. While one of the cab driver was shot by the killer for driving past a red traffic signal, the other driver died when the vehicles collided.
The next day, a letter was published in most of the newspapers across Bangalore.
This is my NO-TOLERANCE MOVEMENT.
This time I got two birds with just one shot! The cab driver drove through the red signal; I drove a bullet through his skull.
My hit count is six, but total deaths are seven. Very low ‘statistics’ as compared to the perpetrators on the roads. So, treat this as an open warning to *everyone* on the road. Henceforth, I will not target auto or cab drivers only, now *ALL* the rash drivers are on my hit-list. If I see you break a rule, you will be shot at, 24x7x365. Simple.
Remember & obey the following 10 simple rules:
1. Strictly follow lane discipline. Do not change lanes without prior indication to the vehicles behind & in front of you.
2. Do not drive through red or amber signals. Respect the traffic signals, obiediently.
3. Do not honk unnecessarily. Honk *only* to inform other vehicles, not to SHOUT at them.
4. Slow down & HONK before a road crossing, and every time you take a blind turn.
5. Respect & give way to people crossing the road. Its their right to walk, while driving is a privilege given to you.
6. Needless to say, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.
7. As well as, DO NOT SPEAK ON YOUR CELLPHONE WHILE DRIVING.
8. Do not drive on the wrong side of the road, or especially on the footpath, even for a short distance.
9. Do not drive rashly in a personal rush/emergency; if you’re late for your appointment/work, its not the others’ problem.
10. Follow all traffic rules, and do not bribe traffic policemen to avoid penalty/punishment when you flout the rules. I will shoot both of you dead.
No one knows me. No one has seen me. Don’t dismiss my warnings here, I shoot quite accurately & discreetly. Strictly follow my instructions above, and stay alive.
Soon, there will be many more people like me, monitoring the roads in Bangalore & shooting at anyone who dares disobey my instructions. After here, we will move to other cities in India.
With a little grin on his face, Gowda read the associated article. He said to himself, “I think, I like this guy!”
The situation on the Bangalore roads, after the last murder & the published letter, was absolutely hunky-dory. *Everyone* was (suddenly!) very diligent & patient on the roads, strictly following lane discipline, respecting traffic signals and all this without unnecessary honking too! The auto-rickshaws, cabs & even two-wheelers – *all* of them, were demonstrating their best driving skills. Someone breaking a rule or about to break a rule – was immediately chided by fellow drivers. It all seemed right out of an unbelievable dream!
Some reality, coming out of fiction…
- As is popularly said (in Sanskrit) “Dandam Dashagunam Bhavate” – i.e. Just one ‘stick’ (punishment) can teach 10 good lessons, easily.
- As goes a very popular, but old Marathi song, “Chhadi lagey cham cham, Vidya yeyi gam gam“, i.e. You learn, as soon as you’re punished. Listen to the original song here, its really good.
Q. Why do we Indians learn only when things are taken to the extreme?
Q. Can we only learn with the fear of ‘punishment’, or after receiving the ‘punishment’?
Q. How much can the governments & regulating/voluntary bodies do, if we – the citizens – do not comply by the country’s policies, rules & regulations?
Q. How can we expect *anyone* (governments, leaders, NGOs, volunteers, etc.) to change us when civic sense is *utter nonsense* for us?
- Coming to reality (from fiction), are we waiting for something drastic to happen to us, before we improve our civic sense & driving skills on the roads?
- Will we always need a “chhadi” (a teacher’s stick!) to get our acts straightened?
There is a limit to control the frustration… Its still within the limit, as of now.
For how long would such an ideal & dream situation on the Bangalore roads linger, is an easy guess for anyone. Back to fiction…
A month had passed since the last murder. The roads were still satisfactory, everyone was happy with the *drastic* change. Driving was no more war on the road, where you had to use all your skills to survive in life’s reality show.
A clueless Gowda was happy with how the situation had turned, though he regretted not being able to solve the case & arrest the killer. The case had to be closed off, after a few months, as there was nothing which could be done further to solve it.
The biggest festival for most Indians – Diwali – was close, and the ladies were busy scrubbing & cleaning their homes. Diwali was the “annual occasion” when the homes & offices got cleaned and/or repainted – to welcome the New Year (New Year for Gujaratis, Marathis & many others).
On a bright Monday morning, Nirav was getting ready for his office. He wore his dark gray jacket, took his helmet, his brown shoulder bag & climbed down the staircase to the basement parking area. He put on the helmet and kick started his black, silver & golden coloured Royal Enfield Bullet Electra. The bike came alive on the second kick. After warming up the engine for about 25-30 seconds, he rode out of the parking area and got on to the road. Before he could speed away, he saw Swati (his wife) & Stuti (their 5 year old daughter) waving & calling out to him from the balcony of their second floor apartment. He stopped near the main gate of their apartment complex, lifted the helmet’s visor and loudly asked them, “What happened?”
Swati replied, “Stuti found a lot of these old newspapers. They have many articles with their words cut-out. She says she didn’t cut them… Are these yours?”
Nirav paused for a while & then replied, “Yes, these’re mine…”
Swati asked back, “Are they important? Do you need them?…”
Nirav looked back at her, smiled and replied, “No – I don’t think I will need them again. You can throw them out. Okay?… I got to go, I’m late as usual. Bye, see you guys – Have a nice day!”
He waved back to them & rode away! 🙂
(End of the last part, Part V)